Student Professor Affair: I Slept with My Professor
Elizabeth confesses, "I slept with my professor." Today, we talk to her as she recounts her secret student professor affair she had while in college many years ago. She talks about secrecy, lust, admiration, and a little bit of wistfulness.
Professor Comforted Me in Vulnerable Times
I never really revealed this about myself on such a mass scale, but the anonymity makes me feel more comfortable about it, even relieved. The only person I ever told about my student-professor affair was my mother. My husband doesn't know, my kids don't know ...
People think no one ever had any illicit relationships back in the early sixties. But it was before the sexual revolution, before all the hippies, when America was more conservative and reserved overall.
But, men and women always have and always will be attracted to each other, and therein lies the root of most of the trouble in the world. I was 18 and in a traditionally male college that was still, at the time, 90% men students. They just started accepting female students two years before.
I had a severe problem learning the math in my Fall Freshman semester. I couldn't ask my fellow students, who were all men, for help because they viewed me as competition -- I was ruining the old boys network, and there was real resentment back in those days.
I Told Him How Lost I Was
So I went up to the Professor Edwards who had a friendly demeanor with me. He was just like you would imagine a professor to be. He wore argyle sweater vests, dark suits, and he would smoke a pipe in the halls at school. Back then, no one discouraged any kind of smoking indoors.
He was 47 to my 18. I told him how lost I was with the material and he said that he would help me in scheduled study sessions. I also confessed to him how isolated I felt in a school with mostly boys.
He was already a handsome man, but when he started helping me out, he grew to be even more attractive to me. He gave me his guidance and made me feel confident, and that is how the sexual connection developed.
Did He Seduce Me or Did I Seduce Him?
One afternoon, in the fall of 1964, it happened. He was helping me practice some formulas and he placed his hand over mine when I wrote a number in the wrong spot. I didn't move my hand. In fact, I flipped my hair back in his face a little and I'm sure he smelled my perfume because he took a whiff. When I looked at his face his eyes were closed like he was in bliss.
I moved in closer to him just because it felt right to do so. He then leaned in to kiss me. Before he did, I'll never forget that he said, "You're like a gentle, young flower." Because that's what I was at the time. He brushed his hand against my face. Then he kissed me.
We didn't sleep together that study session, but about two sessions later. We went to the professor's house for this session, and we both knew what was going to happen. I was a virgin before I met him, but I still knew what men and women did. My older sister was a nurse and she told me that most girls never know anything until their wedding night, but she had wanted me to know.
We Went to the Professor's House
The professor's house looked like an old gray stone mansion, past a long and winding road that I had never been down before. No one would ever bother us there. It stood alone. It was dark and stately. He lived with two brown cats, and even they looked distinguished. He wasn't married -- just one of those quiet types.
He had a library study room, with a long leather lounging sofa. He walked me over to it, sat me down, and started taking off my blouse. He asked if I was okay and I told him yes. My heart was racing but I still wanted what I had never experienced before.
He was gentle and slow, and it was perfect for the first time, except of course there wasn't true love in it. It was admiration, desire, and lust. He had a balcony to the outside connected to the library. I remember looking out the clear doors as I was laying underneath him taking him all in. I had done it. I slept with my professor. It was misty and raining outside and it just all felt right.
We would go to his house perhaps more than ten times. We were in his bedroom most of the remaining times. We also dined together and he read me passages out of novels he enjoyed. He brought me red roses twice. His cats curled up next to me sometimes. I still called him "Professor" the whole time. Never first names.
My student professor affair lasted with him for the rest of the semester. My roommate in the dorm must have suspected something. When I disappeared those nights I just told her I was going to the library. Once I remember seeing her as I was in his car on the road as we came to a stop. I pretended not to see her as she crossed the street and looked into the front window. She asked me later on who it was, and I told her it was my uncle. She let it go at that.
Did you sleep with your professor?
I Hid the Affair to Save Face
I had to hide the lust I felt for him when I was in class. My eyes couldn't give too much away. I deserved a "C," at most a "B-," but he gave me an "A." I guess that was kind of the unwritten rule for what we did. I traded on my youth, and I was rewarded for it.
I would die before I let my male classmates know I did indeed have sex to get the grade I needed. I didn't want to lose respect in their eyes. But for me, it wasn't about that. It was just about being at the prime of my youth, getting a handsome powerful man to help me, and just giving in to passion. But I had to hide the affair to save face.
Well I got married at 22 to my college sweetheart I met while attending school, had three children, and became a teacher myself. I left teaching after I became pregnant with my first child. I never told my husband about what happened and never plan to. Some information simply doesn't belong in a marriage. They are snippets of a separate scrapbook of your life.
About 15 Years Ago I thought About Professor Edwards Again. I Wanted to See if He Was Still Alive
When you're young you say goodbye to people easily because you know there is so much more ahead of you. When you look back as an older person, you start to wonder what happened to them. About 15 years ago I thought about Professor Edwards again. I actually wanted to perhaps see if he was still alive. He would have been 81 to my 52.
I live about four hours away from his old stately house. Fifteen years ago I drove there. Somehow I never forgot how to get there. It's funny because there are no houses except for his for at least a ten minute drive. And all the years that went by -- it seems like that house was just from another world.
So I drove to his house not really expecting to know what I'd find. Had he died and another family was living there? Was it razed for a shopping mall? Was it abandoned? I arrived there on a Saturday afternoon. I rang the doorbell.
An 82-year-old Professor Edwards came to the door. He still had a full head of hair and was wearing an argyle sweater. How funny that some things don't change! I told him who I was. A smile came to his face. He had never married but had contact with relatives and old colleagues.
We became good friends and I would go visit him for coffee occasionally. We talked sometimes about those old days and what we did, but at 53 and 82, there was no physical attraction to be had. I did, however, see a twinkle in his eyes occasionally when we recounted those times.
When Professor Edwards Died
I didn't know how much our coffee visits meant to him. When he died nine years ago he left me his library collection, which was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. One day, when I was looking through the books, I came upon a pressed red rose that he gave to me that I left at his house, back in 1964. It was in between the pages of the novel passages he read to me once.
When you are an old woman like I am, no one looks at you and desires you. It is nice to look back on the times you were young and beautiful and could hold men captive and gain favors from them, even if it was an illicit affair that you had to keep from the light of day.